On the very day that the U.S. Senate is expected to acquit President Trump in his impeachment trial, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said investigations into Trump’s pressure campaign against Ukraine will continue. And a key part of those investigations will involve issuing a subpoena to Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton, Nadler told reporters.
Democrats have long wanted to hear from Bolton regarding the Ukraine saga, but their interest increased last week when the New York Times reported on claims Bolton makes in a forthcoming book. In the book, Bolton writes that Trump explicitly told him that congressionally appropriated military aid to Ukraine was being held up to force an investigation into Joe and Hunter Biden.
Bolton’s claim is important, but not because it proves anything about Trump’s Ukraine scheme. That has already been established by Trump’s public statements, the admission of his chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, and the testimony of many other administration officials. Bolton, however, is the first person to claim that Trump flatly told him that the aid was being withheld in exchange for the investigations. His testimony would blow up the central argument made by Trump’s defense.
“Not a single witness testified that the president himself said that there was any connection between any investigations and security assistance, a presidential meeting or anything else,” Trump lawyer Mike Purpura said last week.
But Republicans in the Senate decided they didn’t need to hear from Bolton, or any other witnesses, and have moved quickly to acquit Trump.
Nadler said Wednesday that the House will take the issue back up regardless of Trump’s acquittal. “First of all, I think when you have a lawless president, you have to bring that to the fore and you have to spotlight that,” he said.